Talk to a handful of Chargers fans and, chances are, it won’t take long for most of them to start griping about Qualcomm Stadium. Its inadequacies, after all, are the root of why the team wants to leave.
Whether it’s smelly bathrooms, bad sightlines or just complaints about the general oldness of the place, The Murph isn’t high on most folk’s list when it comes to architectural marvels.
Or is it?
Late last week, I joined a group of architect and designer types on a behind-the-scenes tour of Qualcomm. They ogled the smooth concrete structure, getting really excited by flourishes like the iconic circular pedestrian ramps.
Frank Hope Jr., the stadium’s original architect, was on the tour, fielding questions about its design. Standing in the smelly San Diego State Aztecs locker room, Hope said reading all the reports about the shabby shape of the stadium made him think things were going to be bad.
“It looks fine to me,” he said. “After reading what I read in the paper of the sports writers I expected that the whole place was junky, but it looks nice.”
• The Union-Tribuen’s Roger Showley took the stadium tour, too. His piece includes more history on Hope’s firm, which went on to design lots of local buildings including Seaport Village, an airport terminal expansion, buildings at UCSD and the U-T’s home in Mission Valley.
‘Briggs May Be on to Something’
Cory Briggs, Donna Frye and the group San Diegans for Open Government plan to start collecting signatures in less than two weeks for their plan to overhaul the hotel-room tax system, pave the way for a downtown convention center annex and clear environmental hurdles for a stadium either downtown or in Mission Valley.
Now, they might have an unlikely ally: The U-T.
“This editorial board is not prepared to endorse or oppose the initiative. But Briggs may be on to something,” the paper wrote.
It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! Nope, Just a Missile
Seriously, though, people were freaking out Saturday after a big bright light ripped through the night sky. Videos of the phenomenon show how even the most skeptical of us could’ve momentarily thought it was a UFO, or at least a huge comet.
Alas, the eye-catching light show was nothing more than a Navy missile test.
It turns out that missile test deniers are a loud and Tweetful bunch. There seem to be just as many people calling it a government coverup as there are people saying how (not) relieved they are to find out it was only a large missile being fired closely to a heavily populated region.
Quick News Hits: Sunshine Tax Is Worth It
• Last week, a study released by Bankrate.com named San Diego as the worst city in the country for building wealth. This week, the U-T checked in with local movers and shakers, asking if they agreed. The yeas mostly wage-shamed the city for not paying employees enough to keep up with the high cost of living. A lot of the nays essentially said yeah, it might be hard to build up wealth in San Diego, but it’s nice here and there are a lot worse places you could call home while drowning in dept.
• Mayor Kevin Faulconer wanted to create a special $21 million pension stabilization reserve fund. A budget committee rejected that plan and now San Diego City Councilmembers Todd Gloria and David Alvarez will take their proposal for stocking city coffers to the table.
• A San Diegan so staunchly supports Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, he wrapped his fancy electric car with campaign colors and slogans. The car owner was one of a few hundred at a Sanders rally at Balboa Park over the weekend.
• San Diego County came close to having its first-ever transgender homecoming queen. San Ysidro High School nominated Violet Ri, who said she wanted the title so she could be a leader in the trans community. She didn’t end up winning the crown, but she said told NBC San Diego that “it’s still a huge step.”
• Climate change will increase the amount of times we hear about red flag warnings in coming years. The U-T cites a new study by scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory linking wildfire risk with climate change. In the next few decades, California’s average 10 days of extreme fire risk days could jump to 60.
• A lucky San Diegan recently raked in millions on a guitar he bought years ago for just $275. The New York Times reports that John McCaw realized he was in possession of an instrument used by both John Lennon and George Harrison after coming across a magazine article picturing Harrison next to the guitar.
• San Diego Beer Week is still in full swing. West Coaster reports on five trends to emerge out of this year’s fest so far.
Just Wear Your Darn Helmet
Local restaurateur and bike advocate Jeff Motch got in a gnarly bike crash over the weekend. He posted photos of his helmet on Twitter and thanked the Santa Cruz company that made it for saving his life. So yeah, wear your helmet. I keep meeting really smart people who inexplicably do dumb things like not wear their bicycle helmets.